Albion went down 5-0 to Manchester City yesterday in their final Barclays Women’s Super League match of the year, and Gibbons says the break comes at a good time, after a run of league and cup games.
“We need the break, the City game was the third game in the space of eight days, and coming to City was always going to be difficult.
“It was another tough lesson. We executed the game plan well in spells, but we were not consistent enough. They showed their class on the day, and were very clinical.
“Their players speak for themselves. They are all established internationals and a very good team, but that is the challenge we face and the league we are in. We need to be prepared to step up.
“We showcased ourselves well in spells, but it was another lesson in terms of where we need to be and the strides we need to make moving forward.
“We will reflect over Christmas and last season our second half of the season was better and we will hope to do that again.”
Gibbons felt Albion’s case against City yesterday wasn’t helped by a couple of decisions which went against them, starting early in the game when Sophie Harris was penalised for picking up an adjudged Matilde Lundorf backpass.
“I don’t think it was a backpass. It bounced off Matilde and somehow the ref deemed it a backpass. That then gave them the momentum going forward for the next 85 minutes.
“Some of the other goals we conceded were avoidable, if we had been more disciplined; they were the better team on the day and deserved to win, but maybe five-nil wasn’t fair.
Albion also saw Ini Umotong’s attempt ruled out for a foul on home keeper Ellie Roebuck.
“I thought it was a goal. She [Roebuck] punched it in her own net, but it was disallowed for a foul on the goalkeeper, which looked soft,” added Gibbons. “The second half we were much better.”
Albion could argue they should have more points on the board in the Barclays FA Women’s Super League, and they have impressed in the Continental League Cup.
A win at London City Lionesses on Wednesday saw them advance from their group with Arsenal, and the draw for the quarter-finals takes place at 1pm today.
Gibbons added, “We haven’t been consistent. We are well aware of that. We are not naïve enough to think this season is going to be easy.
“Our form has been good in the cup, and we want to do well against the bigger teams, and we are learning from these type of games.
“Each time we play one of the big teams we want to get better and learn from the mistakes from the previous ones.”